Budgeting goes ‘smoothly’

The Executive Board concluded the budgeting process for Fiscal Year 2019 on Saturday, December 8, after addressing five budget appeals from various clubs and organizations. According to President of the Union Matthew Rand ’19, the Board was able to provide an extra $50,000 to clubs this fiscal year compared to last, partly due to growing class sizes. Rand commended the Board, saying that overall, “budgeting went very smoothly.”

That isn’t to say the Board didn’t face challenges—notably with minimum wage increases and the upcoming Arch Summer Semester. In 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted legislation that would steadily increase the state’s minimum wage annually, bringing it to $12.50 by 2021. Rand said that the Board needed to take into account what that meant for the Union’s budget as a whole. At the same time, Rand emphasized the Union’s commitment to providing meaningful work to students and continuing to expand the positions available. There are also plans to form a student employment committee that would provide training and make available various resources to Union employed students.

The Arch Summer Semester also posed some challenges in budgeting with clubs that wish to remain active over the summer. As this is the first summer semester with an expanded class, Rand said many clubs didn’t exactly know what their membership for the summer would look like, nor the number of activities they’d like to host, which made budgeting for that challenging. However, despite the difficulties, Rand stressed that the Board will always do what it can to accommodate clubs and give them what they need to operate, especially over the summer.

For the future, Rand highlighted plans to provide more advanced tools in the Union’s Club Management System to make budgeting more efficient for both clubs and the Board. Features like tagging would allow clubs to distinguish between line items that are “necessary for the club’s operation” and ones that “would be nice to have.” Otherwise, Rand said clubs should continue their good work and cooperation with the Executive Board, and make sure they ask for everything that they might need in their budgets.

The Executive Board will meet January 18, 2018—the first Thursday of the Spring semester—at 8 pm in the Shelnutt Gallery.